Tanzania ferry toll reaches 225

Dodoma: The death toll in the Tanzania ferry capsize increased to 225 on Sunday with the recovery of seven more bodies, according to authorities.

Regional commissioner, John Mongella, said the seven bodies were discovered on the fourth day of search operations, reports Efe news.

So far, there have been 41 survivors , including an engineer who was found on Saturday in an air pocket in the upturned vessel.

According to Mongella, relatives and acquaintances have identified a total of 171 bodies, while the unidentified victims will be buried.

MV Nyerere sunk in Lake Victoria between the islands of Ukerewe and Ukara on Thursday with around 400 passengers onboard – four times the legal capacity.

President John Magufuli has declared three days of national mourning and ordered the arrest of the vessel’s crew and managers from the state company that operates the ferry service for questioning.

The preliminary investigation indicates that the ferry capsized because “it was overloaded”, Cabinet Chief John Kijazi said on Friday.

The vessel capsized just 50 metres from the shore.

Victoria, Africa’s largest lake, is shared by Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

The Tanzanian portion of the lake was the scene in 1996 of one of the worst shipwrecks of the 20th century, the ferry MV Bukoba sank, leaving an estimated 615 people dead.